Top U.S. Tourist Destination in 2009: New York City

New York City was the country's top tourist destination in 2009, attracting 42.25 million visitors, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced this month.

Although the number of tourists visiting it fell 3.9 percent from 2008, the Big Apple holds the title as most visited city for the first time since 1990, according to Bloomberg, topping Orlando and attracting twice as many visitors as its nearest competitor, Los Angeles.

"Over the past eight years, our efforts to make New York City an even more exciting place to visit have helped produce a record number of tourists and create thousands of jobs," Bloomberg said in a statement. "Last year, while tourism declined significantly in cities across the country, we fared far better than most."

International travel to New York dropped nearly 10 percent last year, while domestic visitors remained steady. Bloomberg blamed the lack of growth on H1N1 fears, the global recession and less-than-friendly border security. He said the city's on track to meet its goal of 50 million visitors by 2012.

—Nielsen Business Media